Advertising, like menu boards and quarterly tax payments, was never really a thought as we rolled into PJP Buttonwood. Because we live right in the center of the world of pie, thinking about how to share our story and bring customers into our store seemed like a foregone conclusion...it would be so easy, right? And probably for the first week of business in our new location, it was indeed easy. And then the calls started...sales reps from publications and radio stations and television stations began calling as if somehow they received a memo that we had opened and had no solid advertising plan in mind at all.
And then most of those same callers would later drop by the shop with materials for us to review and after only a few days, I had collected an entire folder of advertising possibilities at prices that made me want to shed some earnestly overwhelmed tears.
The thing about all the advertising is that is ALL JUST SOUNDS GREAT. Reach thousands of readers in Boone County with just a quarter-page ad? Have thousands of listeners captive at stoplights while your ad blasts for 30 seconds? Well, yes, yes I would like to accept.
After you get to hear about how great the magazine/ad space/radio station/television station/ink pens/t-shirts etc. is, whomever is selling then lowers the boom and starts to discuss cost. And like everything else in this rodeo, advertising space doesn't come cheap. And honestly, figuring out how to maximize our small advertising budget is one of the more difficult things I've encountered since the inception of PJP Buttonwood.
Originally, we planned to do the most minimal amount of advertising. Rather, we would rely on free marketing through social media as much as possible. Well that may be an excellent theory, it didn't take into account the competitive monster that lies within us both. It didn't take too many times for people to come into PJP Buttonwood and proclaim "Oh, I didn't know you were back for business!" and then later state they don't use Facebook at all for us to realize that we need to reach a larger audience through more traditional means.
But how do you figure out the best way to spend your budget? And these questions are only rhetorical questions sent out to the great cosmic Internet void, because I certainly don't suppose anyone has the magic formula for maximizing your business exposure and keeping your advertising budget within limits that don't cause terror sweats.
We immediately settled on Inside Columbia because well, because Inside Columbia. We have a one page ad scheduled for the June issue...
And likely knowing our personalities, seeing this ad in print in a glossy magazine will only make us want more advertising space in different venues. But what has the next priority? Local readers...would you prefer to see PJP on a doornail insert? Would you prefer to find us in the pages of Columbia Marketplace? Students, would seeing information about Peggy Jean's in your "welcome back to school" planners entice you to stop by and visit us? What are the publications and/or radio and television stations that capture your attention? Please share your thoughts about the sources that you would like to see PJP become a part of...